Quiet Zone Established at Certain Garland Railroad Crossings
Beginning July 12, 2011, a railroad quiet zone will be established by the City of Garland along the Kansas City Southern Railroad mainline, in order to improve safety and minimize the impacts of train horn noise. The KCS mainline runs from south to north Garland along side South Garland Avenue and Lavon Drive as well as throught downtown Garland. Railroad quiet zones are federally approved groups of railroad crossings at which train horns are NOT routinely sounded.
Below are some important aspects of the City of Garland’s new quiet zone and railroad crossing safety:
1. The quiet zone includes 21 at-grade rail crossings along the KCS Railroad between Shiloh Road in the south and Murphy Road in the north.
2. The quiet zone will be in affect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. Even with a quiet zone, the train engineer may always sound the horn in case of an emergency. This includes situations when a person or animal is on the track; when any maintenance work is being done; or other potential danger exists. Train engineers have been sounding horns at Garland crossings for years. It is going to take some time for them to form new habits. The sounding of horns should diminish as time goes by and eventually become a rare occurrence.
4. All crossings included in the quiet zone meet the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Final Rule on Quiet Zones. This requires all public crossings to have active vehicle gates, flashing lights, and bells to alert motorists of an approaching train. In addition to active warning devices at the crossing, all crossings also have advanced signing and pavement markings to identify the rail crossing. This includes an advanced warning sign with a NO TRAIN HORN legend.
5. Safety has been enhanced by adding medians or channelizing devices to crossings that did not already have them, except on one-way streets where the gates cover the entire roadway approach already. Pavement markings have been refurbished at all KCS crossings.
6. The quiet zone does not affect train horns on the DART and Dallas, Garland and Northeastern tracks which run in an east-west direction through Garland.
7. Driving around lowered gates is both illegal and dangerous. Although the vehicle gates may not protect sidewalks and trail, pedestrians and bicycles should also exercise caution when crossing railroad tracks. Always cross the tracks at a marked crossing location and never cross when the lights are flashing and the vehicle gates are down
8. Trains do not follow set schedules; always expect a train!
9. Once the engineer applies the brakes, it can take over a mile for the train to stop.
10. Trains always appear to be moving slower than they actually are.
When crossing railroad Tracks, always: LOOK, LISTEN, AND LIVE.
For more information contact the City of Garland Transportation Department at 972-205-2430.